The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) hosted its 2023 Good Business Awards ceremony in Windhoek on the night of 28 November 2023 to recognize some businesses which stood out and made an impact during the year.

The event was officiated over by the Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Hon Ipumbu Shiimi.

Brandpan Advertising was the winner of the SME category.

Brandpan Advertising is a Namibian branding and signage manufacturing company. The company offers a wide range of products and services such as fully fitted joinery, corporate and safety wear, corporate gifts, indoor and outdoor signage, flags, information boards, lightboxes and more.

Since opening in 2016, Brandplan has successfully stayed up to date with the latest branding technology, in order to offer clients a wide array of personalized solutions. Customized products are their speciality, and they manufacture it all in-house and locally.

The other finalists in the SME category were  Kryo Investments Namibia and Uukalinawa Pharmacy.

Kryo Investments Namibia, a Namibian SME working in the industrial gas industry, providing products, services and complete logistical solutions in the provision and application of industrial gases.

Uukalinawa Pharmacy was stablished in Ongwediva. The company has since expanded and opened another branch in Ondangwa. The company sells products ranging from controlled licensed pharmaceutical to generic finished dosage forms, veterinary medication, cosmetics and other health-care products.

Winner of the large enterprise category, Nampath Laboratories, was founded in 2012 by Mr Esegiel Gaeb. It is a company that offers medical laboratory diagnostic services for private and state doctors.

The company is Namibian, with their main laboratory situated in Katutura. Nampath Laboratories is committed to providing the most convenient pathology testing service to the clinicians of Namibia and beyond.

The other finalist in the category was Oluno Shell Filling Station. Owned by Mr Sagarias Hangula and Mrs Sarah Hangula, it is a wholly Namibian-owned company. The owner took up a loan from DBN in order to rebuild and set up a fully-fledged filling station with a 24-hour convenience store and take-away.

The filling station is in close proximity to the main road in the Central Business District of the town, has 16 permanent employees, and has boosted economic activity in the town of Ondangwa.

In his keynote address, Finance and Public Enterprises Minister Iipumbu Shiimi noted that the first Good Business Awards took into consideration job creation, local sourcing, sustainable and innovative use of resources, sound administration of the enterprise and good governance.

Those judging criteria for these awards remains the same, and the finalists and winners epitomise that.

He said his message to the finalists and winners is one of encouragement and their presence is an indication of excellence. He described them as agents of development and highly valuable components in the enterprise ecosystem.

Describing the relevance of the awards, DBN CEO, Dr John Steytler, said good business consists of enterprises and initiatives that are appropriate to the Namibian economy, that satisfy demand in the market and that are well administered.

“Good businesses are also those that can adapt to changing circumstances and economic shocks, as we have seen in the last few years,” Dr Steytler said.

“Good businesses also use their resources to accumulate capital either to grow, to evolve or to buffer themselves against economic shocks.”

Good business, he pointed out, requires development of entrepreneurial culture, at the level of the enterprise as well as at a national level.

The Good Business Awards showcase the best enterprises financed by the Bank. They are sustainable, they satisfy needs in the market and the economy, and they are administered for long-term success.

However, the finalists and winners also set examples for other businesses. By examining their models and practices, other businesses can learn what it takes to succeed.

The Bank also learns from its finalists and winners. They become a standard against which the Bank can gauge its borrowers, both in the application phase and in the support that it can offer to its existing borrowers, he concluded.

In the photo: Photographed with his winners cheque for N$250 000 from Ms Evangelina Nailenge, Deputy Chairperson of the DBN Board, and Hon Shiimi, Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, is Mr Esegiel Gaeb from Nampath Laborotories.